Today is Noah's final IEP meeting of the year. This is the big one, where we determine his placement and service level for first grade. And I get to argue with someone who thinks we're "hiding" a medical diagnosis from the school because she observed him for 20 whole minutes and therefore knows more than any of the dozen other people who spend hours and hours with him on a regular basis and STILL can't settle on a single diagnostic label because "QUIRKY" DOESN'T COUNT.

It's super exciting, especially since this week needed just a little more stress.

Noah iep

The papers on the left are the remaining goals from this year's (admittedly lean) IEP. The stack on the right is the draft for next year. I anticipate that it will roughly double in size by the end of the meeting. And that's with a recommendation for more time in general ed next year.

(Turns out Noah is very good at math. I still can't multiply by nine without looking at my fingers.)

Anyway. Wish us luck? Afterwards Ike and I are headed up to visit my mom and...all that other stuff, so maybe wish me some wine, too. 

Flip side, catch ya there, etc. 



I'm afraid to ask what medical diagnosis they think you are hiding? Let's schedule that dinner when you get back. With lots of wine.


Good luck on the IEP, and on your attempts to shut down the jackass who's baffled by your "facts" and "analysis" and "data."


Jen K.

Good luck! "It's that time of year again..." keep running through my head, though Christmas is much more fun than IEP season. At ours, I had to refrain from opening a can of whoop-a** on the school psych who called my kid "clueless" after observing him for 5 mins. in gym class.


You know everything you multiply by nine (up through 9x9) comes out as two digits that add up to nine, right? And the first digit is always one less than the number you multiplied by nine. Handy tip for tackling that chunk of the multiplication table!

9x2=18. 1 is one less than the 2 you multiplied by nine, and the second digit, 8, brings the sum to nine.

Same with...
9x3=27 (2+7=9)
9x4=36 (3+6=9)
9x5=45 (4+5=9)


Wishes for wine, check. Wishes for realizing there's no hidden diagnosis, check. Wishes for Noah to continue to kick goals' asses. And more wine. Because me and the I am failing third grade math and there's really no reason to mention sixth grade math (headmeetdesk). Add tequila.


Wishing you luck, Amy. You are a good advocate for your children. All will be well.


@celilo -- Stop it. You're making me reach for my flask entirely too early. Numbers. Moving on the screen. Can't quite see...I passed out. From the world multiply.


Good luck! Let me know if you ever need any advice - cousin of two Autistic kids and Mom has Masters in Special Ed - just retired after 25+ years in the field.


As a school SLP, I've realized that you absolutely CANNOT judge a child accurately in 20 minutes, let alone half a year (or more) sometimes! I'll admit I do get bogged down sometimes wishing for a diagnosis for some kids, even know the diagnosis doesn't matter because the IEP will get them the services they NEED regardless.

Good luck! With both that and the OTHER.

Wombat Central

Hiding a diagnosis? I'd be over the smacking foreheads. Sheesh.

Also, I'm glad to learn that multiples of 9 thing--I heard someone say it recently, but didn't hear the whole explanation. In related news, mah brain hurts from the numbers.


For the other stuff.. Take care. And would that be a dry white wine or a rich and luscious red wine? And just keep a stiff upper lip, you know most about your kids. We recently had similar talks at school. We had our way thank god.!


Super Fun week! Yeah, hiding a diagnosis would really be to your child's advantage.

Hang in there!


I'm not so surprised to hear that Noah is good at math - numbers are something that have rules so that you can understand what's going on with them. Good luck with everything that you're dealing with this week.


Lots and lots of wine to you!


Gotta love the lack of logic by the administrators. Hiding a diagnosis? Good one. Moving from wine to whiskey, possibly better.

Mom in two cultures

We've been fighting this battle for awhile now--plenty of blog material to be sure! Good luck!


Best of luck at Noah's IEP meeting! My MIL goes through the same thing with my youngest brother. It can be a frustrating process for sure. Sending good vibes your way...

The Tutugirl

Ah, someone beat me to the multiples of 9 thing.

In my experience, math is one of those things that skips generations or something. My brother is in finance (and can do all those fancy calculations in his head) and I was an engineering major. My dad missed failing his 7th grade math class by one point and my mom is far from mathy.

I'm glad he's a math wiz- we need more people who have that talent these days.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Luck and wine!!

(Go Noah!)


Hahahaha ohohohoho hah. Heh. *sob* The "hidden diagnosis" accusation thing. From the people who barely know your child thing. This thing! I have had this curious, curious thing lobbed at me as well.

Trust me, school bureaucracy: if I had a magical doctor's signature on some piece of paper that would get my currently defined as "quirky" son MORE SERVICES, I would USE IT. To get MORE SERVICES. Because, THE SERVICES. He could use more of them. Kthx.

Best of luck with your IEPing.


Oh Amy...I wish you luck, wine, and...bacon. Why bacon? Because (and I think you'll agree with me here) bacon makes everything a little better.


Ugh, I'm so sorry :-( Although we all know you are NOT hiding a diagnosis, I will say that I have encountered parents who have omitted a diagnosis (usually of Asperger's) for whatever reason. It's their right to do so, is my understanding, although I'm pretty sure it would be extremely rude and unprofessional to call them out for it. I usually go with the whole "trust the parent" thing. I don't know, it's seemed to work out for me. And super duper big hugs for the "other thing." Why does all the big bad stuff seem to hit at once?


I think it's just what you need this week. Takes your mind away from "other things", hey??


Yes they probably think you're hiding a aspergers or high functioning autism diagnosis. A lot people are very afraid of that life-long disability label. It has no cure. There are tons of parents out there not ready to accept it and don't want it on their child's "permanent record".


I just want to thank you, for this post and all the others about Noah. We had my son tested this year to see if he was going to need an IEP, and having followed along with your journey with Noah all these years made the process a little bit more familiar and a whole lot less agonizing than it otherwise would have been. Thank you.

And good luck, though I don't think you'll need it, because you're so good at advocating for your awesome kid.


Thank you. My son is about to go to his first county evaluation (same county as you) scheduled for the middle of naptime of course! I go back and forth between incredibly grateful that the county has so many resources (like the free social worker that visited him weekly at daycare) and really terrified that they are going to judge my child. As the evaluation looms I spend more time on the latter thought.

I hope that you find some comfort being with your mom. I am so sorry for your loss.


@celilo et al, I'm pretty good at math but I still look at my fingers when multiplying by nine for precisely the reason you mention (and what I assume Amalah is referring to...) If you put both hands in front of you, and bend down the finger that corresponds with the number by which you are multiplying by nine, it will leave nine fingers behind and give you the product. Thus, bend down your second finger, you have one and eight, 18. Bend down your seventh finger, you're left with six and three, 63. Etc. I may not be explaining it very clearly, but here are some pictures:

Anyway, I really do know my "nines table," but I still find myself doing this trick sometimes just to make sure... A bad habit I developed in third grade I guess, back when there were quizzes on such things.


Yes, the hiding of the diagnosis. My son is "hyper" according to his first kindie teacher. So we moved him. She refused to believe there is such a thing as sensory processing disorder. I loved that. SHE doesn't believe in it, therefore, it can not exist. Instead of giving him a sensory diet - load him up with meds and call it a day, k? Cause he is 5 and a lifetime of medication is way better than a beanbag on his lap for 10 minutes and an extra walk in the hall to self sooth. Gahhhh! Why do some people even get into teaching if they don't love the children?

Sue C

I do love public school logic sometimes. She probably needs a certain diagnosis to get more federal money for Noah's education. Choose a good dry white one for me! Good Luck to you all!

Sue C

I do love public school logic sometimes. She probably needs a certain diagnosis to get more federal money for Noah's education. Choose a good dry white one for me! Good Luck to you all!

Sue C

I do love public school logic sometimes. She probably needs a certain diagnosis to get more federal money for Noah's education. Choose a good dry white one for me! Good Luck to you all!

Sue C

I do love public school logic sometimes. She probably needs a certain diagnosis to get more federal money for Noah's education. Choose a good dry white one for me! Good Luck to you all!


Hay Amy, Take care, especially on the other stuff. try to remember the good things and celebrate them. You will be on my nind, i know that doesnt help but you will.


As a mother of a child who has Cerebal Palsy and Learning difficulties, I can honestly say it is no easier in the U.K to get everything your child needs.
I would truly rather eat my own eyeballs than ever have to go through the year it took to get my son his statement of educational needs, as well as the yearly reviews.
With that in mind, I would like to offer you a bottle of Sloe Gin, it's rather nice, hick :)


pah, too much sloe gin


tomorrow and the following days will be sadder than usual - I've been through this and it DOES get easier -- not "all better" but easier. there are no more "last year at this time..." moments. sounds silly but it was, for me, a mental relief to stop saying "last year at this time I should have..." thinking of you.


Wishing you luck, wine, and a much better week next week....

Two Eat For Ten

Oh man, what a suck fest of a week. I hope it goes better than you expect! You can always look forward to the week AFTER being better!


Good luck with the IEP today and thinking of you and your family for tomorrow.


Here's wishing you good wine and a good time with your mom. Enjoy it while you can. Good luck with the IEP. Noah is amazing!

Maricris @ SittingAround

Good luck to Noah! I'm sure he's gonna make :-)

katie | motherbumper

IEPs have become a recent addition to our topics of conversation in the homestead and can I just say that sometimes being an adult sucks? Hoping all goes as smoothly as possible and a pox on those who think you're holding out.


Good luck! We had our big IEP meeting on Monday. Our son attends a fantastic school, yet it seems hard to find an effective method to teach "quirky, crazy smart."

The academic side? No problemo! The back and forth of conversation, reading facial cues and the things that should come naturally..... those are the tough ones. Sometimes it's the easiest things that are the hardest.

At least every other month I have a little freak out of worry. Are we doing the right thing? Should we look for an insanely expensive special school? Is he REALLY getting everything he needs? But then he always ends up coming through better than we could have expected. And I feel like shit for somehow thinking he wouldn't.

My son is totally going to rock it out. So will Noah and so will we! :)


Oh, yes. Like a page out of my life.

We went through this with my now 15 yr old son, beginning at age 5. we have had to homeschool one and off depending on what the teacher at the time thinks.

He is quirky. VERY quirky. And hasn't outgrown it. One school insisted we have him tested by THEIR people. I said no. We'd go to our hospital. Our hospital found nothing.
I'm sure their people would have found something.

A quirky child is just unacceptable and needs to be tamed or I dont know what.

I have no idea what the problem is. He is never disruptive. He just knows what he wants.

GOod luck, thinking of you. If you ever want to email..let me know. I know what it's like...

Take care.

Plano Mom

I would be dropping some major f-bombs if someone accused me of hiding a diagnosis. Oh effin puhleeease.

Still holding out for the day you completely forget it is "the day." Prayers, friend.

Springsteen fan

Thinking of you and your family today, Amy. There are no words, but I hope it helps a little to know that your blog fans care. And we miss him, too.


Thinking of you today


thinking of you today


I am sad to read about your IEP experiences - it really shouldn't be a stressful, war-like situation. :(

As the Special Education Resource teacher at my school, it is always the parents' right to disclose anything they wish about their child. We work with what is provided and develop the most appropriate goals, in coordination with parents. These goals are primarily academic related, but social and behavioural goals can also be a secondary focus... however, there is never a need for a formal medical diagnosis! My goodness! We only bring in our psychometrists for educational testing.

The school should provide the best service it can with whatever you provide, and what they have found to be your son's strengths and needs (which should be balanced - no need to point out 20 needs and 3 strengths!.. focus on 6 strengths and 6 needs).

Anyway, do knock myself off of my soapbox...

Best of luck to you at your annual IEP meeting, and don't take any of their crap. If you aren't comfortable, you let them know. Ask 1000 questions. And be sure that they know your son inside and out!

The comments to this entry are closed.